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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Elisabeth and Sally Burdon
Booksellers

Interviewed by AbeBooks: "Sisters in antiquarian bookselling: meet Elisabeth and Sally Burdon"

Published on 30 April 2018
Meet Elisabeth (left) and Sally Burdon. A pair of sisters involved in the antiquarian bookselling community and yet operating businesses thousands of miles apart. Elisabeth runs Old Imprints in Portland, Oregon, and is one of the most interesting sellers of ephemera that we know. Sally runs Asia Bookroom in Canberra, Australia, a business that specializes in Asian books, art, and ephemera. Both sell on AbeBooks and we’re thrilled that they partner with us. Sally is also President of ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), so these are two booksellers with much to talk about. They were kind enough to answer our questions about their family, bookselling and much more.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Rare Book Trade – Transhumance

What could be more mysterious than the irresistible signals sent by the turning of the seasons? Now the days lengthen as the sun proceeds toward its summer destiny. The lilac has come into bloom and faded. The shad bush has leafed out. Alewives struggle upstream, and elvers wriggle down to the sea. The IRS has been paid, the soldiers honored, and the peas planted. Like a salamander crawling out of the muck, I obey nature's call and head north – part of a transhumance that has been taking place since the beginning of bookseller chronicles. It's time for another New Hampshire book fair.
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Article

Tracking down the story of a Gutenberg Bible and a remarkable female collector

The New York Times reviews the recent publication by Margaret Leslie Davis: "THE LOST GUTENBERG: The Astounding Story of One Book’s Five-Hundred-Year Odyssey", describing the story of the American book collector Estelle Doheny and her acquisition of a Gutenberg Bible.
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Article

In the Press - Reinventing the Library

"Such colossal ambition coalesced under the Ptolemaic dynasty. In the third century B.C., more than half a century after Plato wrote his dialogues, the kings ordered that every book in the known world be collected and placed in the great library they had founded in Alexandria. Hardly anything is known of it except its fame: neither its site (it was perhaps a section of the House of the Muses) nor how it was used, nor even how it came to its end. Yet, as one of history's most distinguished ghosts, the Library of Alexandria became the archetype of all libraries ..." An excellent article by author, journalist and collector Alberto Manguel in The New York Times.
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Article

Rare Book Dealers - Bank On It

I taught at CABS (Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar) a few years ago, once as the featured specialist dealer, and once pinch hitting for Rob Rulon-Miller. I went there thinking it would be like a week in summer camp – book stories, hikes, and handicrafts. I came away deeply impressed with the level of commitment on the part of the faculty, the seriousness with which they took their roles as instructors, and the level of information, all of it useful, imparted during that intense week in Colorado Springs. We trained for books with the same intensity as the Olympic athletes who trained just down the street.
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